Voting 'yes' provides opportunities
Hello to all readers. Today I am going to tell you a little about myself, the Targum and The Daily Targum Referendum that is kicking off its first day of polling today. I was originally a Cook College chemistry major coming out of a small North Jersey town called Pompton Plains. I came to the University because it is affordable and close enough where I can still do my laundry at home, but my parents do not feel like coming to visit me. Now, I am a School of Arts and Sciences political science major living off campus in a nice, two-family home. I have been having the ultimate college experience.
I went from a residence hall to an on-campus apartment to off-campus apartment and with all those moves, came a better respect for college life. This is not an easy place to be when you are responsible for all aspects of your life. Now, factor in that I am the editor-in-chief of the Targum and life has become increasingly busier. It all began when I opened up the Targum one day and saw an ad for the position. I talked to my friend who was an associate news editor. He said I should apply for the position, and so here I am today, proud to represent one of the oldest collegiate newspapers in the country.
The Targum has been in existence since 1869. We have been independent of the University since 1980, as it should be. The paper is a teaching institution set up for students — whether journalism is your major or not. I think if anyone out there has any doubts about their ability to get involved with the Targum, you should come in and talk to any of our editors — I know firsthand. Opportunities are offered to anyone willing to work hard and dedicate him or herself to the paper. It is something you should be doing if your goal is to work for a publication, newspaper, magazine or tabloid. Your college paper is the best and most available way to gain experience and build a resume and portfolio. That is not mere suggestion, that is fact — most professionals will tell you that if you do not work for your college publication you will have a very difficult time working for any publication. I implore all students out there to come to our office at 26 Mine St. Sundays through Thursdays from 5 p.m. on and meet us all.
You will find in our office the most dedicated and understaffed group of students who work more than 10 hours a day to strive to meet the standards of the large and critical University population. That is the mentality in both our business office in the Rutgers Student Center on the College Avenue campus and the office on Mine Street — to be the best college paper we can be.
This brings me to my talking point — the Referendum. Referendum is a mandatory vote put before the student body every three years. The University Senate guidelines state that the student body must approve of all special student organization funding. Students vote to approve the fee on their term bill that funds Targum. Additionally, the fee is fully refundable by simply opting out at our business office. But this fee is what allows the Targum to remain daily, independent and full of content free from the sway and influence of outside groups. This paper is a group of dedicated students who are gaining knowledge, experience and training in a way that no classroom can give. This is available to all the students at the University and we always need people interested in working with us. The Targum is like another class — a very demanding class that puts you into the field and puts you in charge. However, there is a benefit for the entire community a newspaper, run by students, which they can be proud of. The Targum leads the nation in four-year daily college publications, winning first place in the category at February's Associate Collegiate Press convention in Phoenix. A number of the writers and photographers are also award winning, New Jersey Sports Writers Association gave the first and second place award for college sports writers in the state to two people from our sports section.
If you are an undergraduate student at the University with less than 105 credits (all non-seniors) please make sure to come out to the polls March 22 to April 9 on your campus and vote yes in the Referendum. The paper is more than a distraction from a boring class. It is the source for information in the University and city. It is opportunity for anyone who steps up and seizes it. It is an independent publication committed to unbiased reporting and informing the community. No matter who you are or how you feel about the Targum you cannot deny that voting yes for an optional fee that will keep an institution in place with such clear purpose should be difficult. So today, as you walk to class, do not walk past the people telling you to go vote, do not avert your gaze or avoid the polling places. Instead, take a minute before class, after class or during class because you are bored, and vote in the Referendum. And vote YES!
Neil P. Kypers is editor-in-chief of The Daily Targum. He is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in political science with a minor in philosophy.